Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Postlude 2, Like the Sun

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas means baby Jesus. Everybody loves the baby. The swaddling clothes (so cute!) the manger (awww, really?), the Wise Man (distinguished solemnity). It is a tremendous story. It is THE story of all of history. God Himself came in flesh, incarnated solely to grow, live a perfect life, and die. Continue reading “Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Postlude 2, Like the Sun”

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Postlude 1, He is coming again

By Elizabeth Prata

thirty days of jesus postlude 1
Further Reading:

GTY blog/sermon link: Christmas Future

Spurgeon: Watching for Christ’s Coming

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Jesus as Shepherd
Day 22, Jesus as Intercessor

Day 23: Jesus as Compassionate Healer
Day 24: Jesus as Omniscient
Day 25: Jesus’ Authority
Day 26: Jesus’ Sinlessness
Day 27: He rises!
Day 28: Resurrection is of central importance
Day 29: Ascension
Day 30: He sat down

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 30, He sat down

By Elizabeth Prata

We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity. Continue reading “Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 30, He sat down”

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 29, Ascension

By Elizabeth Prata

We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity.

We proceeded into looking at Jesus as the Son’s preeminence, His works, and His ministry. Under ministry & works, I chose verses showing His attributes and aspects of being servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and compassionate healer; and His attributes of omniscience, having all authority and power, and sinlessness. Continue reading “Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 29, Ascension”

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance

By Elizabeth Prata

Christmas advent. We are coming toward the end of our look at the life of Jesus through scripture. The first section of His life was seen through verses focused on prophecy, arrival, and early life.

The next section of verses looked at Him as the Son, second person of the Trinity. Continue reading “Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 28, Resurrection of central importance”

Posted in advent, prophecy, theology

Nativity & Advent: Zacharias- There’s no such thing as chance, even when casting lots

By Elizabeth Prata

#2: Nativity & Advent: Anna, the Lord’s Precious Widow
#3: Nativity & Advent: Sacrifice of Pigeons

Did you know that the practice of casting lots is called cleromancy? I didn’t. Wikipedia defines it-

Cleromancy is a form of sortition, casting of lots, in which an outcome is determined by means that normally would be considered random, such as the rolling of dice, but are sometimes believed to reveal the will of God

What is casting lots? by Matt Slick Continue reading “Nativity & Advent: Zacharias- There’s no such thing as chance, even when casting lots”

Posted in prophecy, theology

When God changed the calendar

By Elizabeth Prata

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2“This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. (Exodus 12:1-2).

In that verse, the LORD Is preparing the Hebrews for the grand finale, the last plague and their exit from Egypt. Upcoming is the Passover, where the LORD Instructs Moses and Aaron to tell the people to stay in their homes that night, eat only unleavened bread, and to take an unblemished lamb, slaughter it, and use a hyssop branch to daub the doorposts with its blood. The death angel would pass over any home so marked.

So in commemoration and in preparation, the LORD changed the month. Formerly Abib, corresponding to our April (roughly), the LORD announced the change. Continue reading “When God changed the calendar”

Posted in prophecy, theology

“Climate change”? Really?

By Elizabeth Prata

In the last little while, the news stories regarding weather have increased regarding “climate change”.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the French critic, famously said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The climate has been changing since the Fall of man.

I wrote a blog essay a while ago showing my interpretation of the Revelation 6:12 verse, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” It is called “Of volcanoes, dry fog, and sun as sackcloth“.

In that blog essay, I posted some examples of what sackcloth looks like. When volcanoes erupt, the ash circles the atmosphere and the sun’s rays are dimmed, and what rays do emit through the haze look hairy instead of like beams. Volcanic ash has the same effect on the sun as described in the Revelation verse.

The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded in 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”

That event is thought to have been caused by an earth-covering atmospheric dust veil, probably resulting from a large volcanic eruption.

The weather changes and attendant devastation on plant and human life when a volcanic eruption takes place is called “Volcanic Winter”. The science magazine Wired has a great article about volcanic winter that occurred in our recent past, one that happened in the 1700s (that Ben Franklin wrote about) and one that occurred in the 1800s. In the article, it states,

“The cloud of ash that was fine and light enough to stay in the atmosphere circled the globe. Average temperatures dropped as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next year … and beyond. Many Europeans and North Americans called 1816 the “year without a summer.”

In Gray, Maine it was indeed called the year without a summer. The bad weather of winter 1815 continued with heavy frosts in August and snowfalls every month of the year in 1816. It became known as “The Year without a Summer” or “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death”. Scientists now believe the cause was the eruption of a volcano, Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. On its first day of eruption, it spewed 2 cubic miles of magma into the atmosphere. The next day it spewed 36 cubic miles of rock and ash into the air. This eruption was the largest in nearly 2000 years and spewed massive quantities of ash into the atmosphere which impacted the climate in the summer of 1816. Over the next year the largest famine in the 19th century devastated the northeast, maritime Canada, and northern Europe. The famine was deadly.

This report from the July 10th Eastern Argus news of Portland ME is typical: “The weather is yet remarkable! On Monday night last a smart frost was experienced in a number of towns in this vicinity—it was confined principally to low ground.”  Imagine…a hard frost on July 10!

The Egypt Road was said to have been named so by people in East Raymond ME who used the road to come to Gray to get seed corn in the spring of 1817. One low-lying section of town between Colley Hill and the Mayall Road was fortunate enough to have its corn crop survive in 1816. This was thought to have been due to the fact that the hill where the corn grew was high, and prevailing winds scoured the frost before it could settle. Seed corn was given to some Raymond citizens. They named the road they took “Egypt Road” since they were remembering the long trek to Egypt to ask deliverance via corn from Joseph to the starving masses. (Genesis 41:49; 56)

We know that in the Tribulation, geologic changes occur which eventually re-form the face of the earth. Quakes are so severe that entire islands disappear. One thing people rarely connect are the drastic changes that occur with climate in a volcanic winter. Atmospheric changes which lead to temperature changes which lead to reduced or failing crops which leads to wars to obtain the remaining food which leads to famine which leads to death which leads to pestilence…you read Revelation 6:1-8 and you see this progression.

We are so fragile, really. All our human made systems will come to naught. The poor, beleaguered earth and its animals is surely groaning. Climate change occurs when we have volcanic eruptions, or are just regularly occurring as part of the normal cycle of life on earth. The more the weather changes, the more it stays the same, if I can paraphrase Monsieur Karr’s saying. It’s all in the hands of God.

dark cloud

Posted in prophecy, theology

God is in control and He has been since before ancient days

By Elizabeth Prata

This essay first appeared on The End Time in April 2010

The Hebrews use the term “Ancient of Days” for God so as not to accidentally say His name and blaspheme. Ancient of Days is a poetic sounding name, and a lovely one. It is also comforting. It rings with authority and by its own name has a timeline that precedes us mere humans and will outlast this earth and the Church Age. It is and was and forever will be, since ancient times. He and His throne IS the Ancient of Days!

Micah says:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” [Micah 5:2]

Daniel is a difficult book to interpret prophetically, but, then again, maybe not so difficult when you remember “scripture interprets scripture.” In 2 Peter 1:20 Peter wrote: But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, He was not saying that we would not understand it. Nor is he saying that we should not try to interpret it. He was saying that the interpretations are given to us, that they are contained in the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the following from Daniel 7:15-27–

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.

Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.

I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

Thus he said: The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

When Daniel was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through his mind disturbed him, he approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all that he’d been told.

“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things:” The student of Bible interpretation is given a gift here, because the interpretation of the verses was placed within the same chapter and only a few verses away, not far apart like in Revelation and Isaiah, for example.

—-end Daniel verses

What a blessing, that the prophet Daniel could approach the one giving the prophecy and ask for its interpretation! We can do the same, ask the Spirit to interpret the verses to us, illuminating them to our mind.

Then a few verses later we see another blessing as Daniel asks for the meaning of the fourth beast and of the horns. The vision is one of torment and anguish and war and usurpation and all sorts of chaos, but in the midst of the interpretation we receive blessing because suddenly there is order. Not order on earth, but we read of order in the heavens:

“until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” [Daniel 7:22]

Ahh, blessed order! The Ancient of Days came! And judgment was passed. In this word judgment from the Aramaic it is not judgment as in wrath and discipline, but the word ‘din‘ as in courts. And the time arrived. You see that nothing is being done in knee-jerk response to the chaos. Nothing is reflexive, judgment is appointed to occur in due course. Indeed, in verse 26 our eyes turn from the chaos on earth yet again and seeing the court come to order. Every few lines in this passage in Daniel, we flip from earth to heaven and the chaos on earth back to heaven. This is a gift to us, the reader, for before we get too upset at the chaos that must come, we are given a picture of the orderliness.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

And finally in verse 27b, His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

From the beginning of the terrible sights that are revealed to us through Daniel’s vision, we are given knowledge of the interpretation, assurance and reminder, judgment which bespeaks of a legal solidity, a seated court who carries out the judgment in a weighty and time-appointed process, and the final blessing that it shall be so forever.

What the Bible is saying to us in this passage is that:

  • Scripture interprets scripture (all truth is contained in its covers, no need to guess, and it’s available to everyone)
  • Interpretations will be given if you ask (and you should ask)
  • The Ancient of Days is ancient and is in control from before Genesis 1:1 and will be forever
  • He does things in an orderly way through legal and weighty means in His timing and rendered through heavenly judgments and court-like atmospheres (Or actual courts in heaven),
  • No matter what the chaos is on earth you can always look up to find the peace and orderliness of His control from on high. Look to His word for peace and in prayer for refreshment and calm.

throne verse

What a wonderful God we serve! What a wonderful Word He has given us!

Posted in prophecy, theology

When is the only time people like the dark?

By Elizabeth Prata

My favorite verses. They have been since I was converted in 2004 and remain so to this day. I like the language of the KJV.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5).

We like the light. When we enter a dark room, what’s the first thing we do? Reach for the light. If a town or city-wide blackout occurs, it’s an emergency. Standing watch in a ship sailing through the inky night, we breathe a sigh of relief when sunrise peeks over the horizon. Bright kitchens sell houses. There is even an interior design job called lighting planner, to help illuminate the home in functional and beautiful ways.

“Ahhh, the light! It’s so much better!” Let’s get a little light on the subject!” we say.

I think everyone would agree with these statements. Everyone loves light; sunlight, tanning bed light, lamp light, candlelight.

Except the lost. They like the darkness.

I switched from speaking literally to speaking metaphorically. Lost folks do not know they are in the dark.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19).

But they sort of do know they are in the dark. Does anyone sit at an internet cafe with their tablet or laptop to watch porn? Do they beat their wives in the restaurant? Do they brazenly steal office supplies in front of everyone? No. Those sins are done in the dark. They love their sins.

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. (John 12:36).

Reach for the Light! Seek the Bright glory of Jesus! Those who prefer the dark will be given outer darkness forever, for the future of those who prefer the dark is to be cast into outer darkness forever!

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:13).

lightdark